Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these apps, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy one. Please do not spend any money on these apps unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Join our newsletter and we'll send you our guide of how to create high-converting product pages.
December 12, 2022
In order to create compelling email campaigns and keep your subscribers engaged, it’s important to create modern content that keeps up with the latest trends and fashion.
In this article, we lay out the top email marketing trends for 2023. If you want your email content to stand out, we recommend jumping on these trends.
Static emails of text and images aren’t engaging any more. If you expect your subscribers to interact with your content, you have to give them something interesting. According to Martech Advisor, “Interactive email content increases the rate of click-to-open by 73%.”
The most basic interactive element is a hover effect. This is where an element changes in some way when the user hovers their mouse over it. For instance, a product photo might switch to a lifestyle photo when the mouse hovers.
Embedded videos are also becoming popular. If you want a subscriber to watch a video, it makes sense to put it right in front of them. One downside: This isn’t supported in every email client, so you’ll need a fallback image.
This Shutterstock email is an elegant example of an interactive message. Clicking the arrows scrolls through a collection of images that are part of their contest.
Here are some other examples of interactive elements that will help you stand out from your competition:
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are popping up everywhere. Even traditionally creative disciplines like writing and art are being invaded by AI-based tools.
AI built into your email marketing platform can help you analyze countless data points and identify trends and patterns that we couldn’t see otherwise. AI email validation can scan lists to detect signals of invalid addresses. Neural protection can improve deliverability by identifying risky sending patterns and monitoring your sending reputation.
AI can even watch over your metrics and make recommendations to optimize your campaigns based on data (not generic best practices). Ultimately, this will help you deliver a better experience for your subscribers.
“AI will automate and improve many aspects of email planning and management,” says Kent Lewis, president and founder of Anvil Media. “For example, AI can make quick work of what used to be elaborate and time-consuming A/B and multivariate tests, [and] optimize send times and personalization to a ‘hyper’ level based on demographics and, more importantly, predictive behavior.”
Like many e-commerce stores, you might have an SMS marketing strategy as well as a live chat feature on your website. These are important, modern tools to stay engaged with your customers and fans.
In the past, these tools were used separately with little coordination between them. Now, however, the top email marketing platforms offer SMS and live chat tools that allow you to have conversations with your customers any way they prefer. It also centralizes your customer data so you can personalize their experience.
For instance, you might…
Here’s an example of that kind of logic in ActiveCampaign, a popular email marketing tool. Notice how the live chat and email flows work together.
As you can see, these kinds of interactions give you enormous potential to keep your customers engaged. We expect to see more email marketers use these tools in 2023.
Smart email marketers recognize that not all subscribers are equal. In fact, some subscribers aren’t worth anything at all. There’s no sense keeping a subscriber if they don’t open your emails and click your links. They’re just clogging up your list and costing money.
Unfortunately, the old philosophy of “more email addresses = better” is hard to overcome. Marketers spend a lot of money collecting those addresses through lead magnets, giveaways, and coupons, so it’s hard to delete them without some regret.
That said, in the past year, email marketers have begun to take email list hygiene more seriously. Typically, they send a win-back campaign to give inactive subscribers another chance to engage and, if there’s no response, cull them from the list. This has the potential to increase your open rate, improve email deliverability, and keep your emails out of spam folders.
Data privacy is a big topic in nearly every digital sector. It was kicked off by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. Even though this regulation is only enforceable in the European Union, many organizations abide by its terms for all customers, regardless of their location.
The past year saw several privacy-related changes that affect the way email marketers track campaign performance, but the most substantial change came from Apple. Marketers are no longer able to track some key metrics from Apple users, such as when users open emails, where they open emails, the device they use to open emails, and the activity on the device they use. This makes your open rate a far less reliable metric.
We suspect it won’t be long before more platforms make similar changes to their terms that safeguard their users’ privacy, making some of the key email marketing signals we rely on to become less useful.
These days, users want to know who they’re buying from. They want to know the story behind the products and whether the brand interacts with the world in a healthy and positive way. Essentially, people want to connect with the brands they buy from.
To meet these needs, you’ll need to tell your company’s story. Show off the people behind your brand and what you stand for. Give your emails personality and presence.
Don’t think of it as letting people behind-the-scenes. There shouldn’t be a hidden place to peek into. Instead, think of it as being genuine and authentic at all times. Over time, good storytelling will increase engagement and help you build relationships with your subscribers, thereby turning them into loyal customers.
Emojis aren’t new, but their usage is picking up pace, even among brands you would never expect to use them. An emoji in the subject line of an email increases the open rate by 29% and the click through rate by 28%.
Why are emojis becoming popular? Because they’re easy to understand. They are processed by the brain as non-verbal information, which means we interpret them emotionally and process them in just 13 milliseconds. Furthermore, according to the Emoji Trend Report, using emojis makes you more likable and credible.
Does this mean you should fill your communication with emojis? Not entirely. They don’t work for every audience and they’re definitely inappropriate for some subjects. Run tests on your list to determine if emojis make sense for your audience and if they have a positive impact on your open and click-through rates.
User generated content isn’t new, but it’s mostly popular on social media. In some cases, brands repost their followers’ content. In other cases, fans submit content to the brand to be posted on their behalf. This process feels natural on social media, but it was always considered gimmicky to include fan content in an email.
However, things are changing. Customers value authenticity and the opinions of their peers more than ever. This makes user generated content a valuable tool for marketers. It’s genuine, highlights your customers, and offers social proof.
Check out how West Elm uses their fans’ photos in an email campaign:
Furthermore, well-made user generated content can reduce your costs and make your life easier. Instead of making a video explaining why your product is great, ask your fans! Choose one or two to create a video explaining why they love the product in exchange for a free one.
As a marketer, it’s important to stay abreast of popular email marketing trends in 2023, but that doesn't mean you should implement them blindly. Take advantage of the trends that make the most sense for your products, customers, and your overall business. As always, run experiments to determine whether a strategy is effective before investing heavily.